Luv Doc Recommends: Fourth Annual AGLCC Pride Parade

, Saturday, June 4, 2005

If you were going to throw a Gay Pride parade in Austin, you’d probably do it on the weekend when 40,000 bikers are in town, wouldn’t you? Hell yes. It’s not like bikers are going to tip the scales of arch-conservatism appreciably - at least not any more so than East Texas legislators. It’s also unlikely that the pride people are going to throw down in some sort of Clint-Eastwood-and-an-orangutan-style biker-bashing melee, but such awkward cultural combinations are always fraught with a certain amount of dramatic tension, so it’s something of a blessing this deal isn’t going down in, say, Vidor. In Texas, Austin is about the closest you’re going to get to an ideological DMZ. Part of it is tradition. Being the capital, Austin has always been the place where Texans come to settle their differences peacefully, where people of vastly different cultures get together to work toward (or as recent legislatures have proven, against) a common good. The same is true of the university. For more than 150 years, students from all over Texas have come to Austin to expose themselves to new ideas, to get a better, deeper understanding of the world in which they live. The rest, of course, go to A&M. In the gay community these people are known (and grudgingly accepted) as the Log Cabin Republicans. Christ-like understanding and tolerance of this magnitude can’t be explained away by something as simple as an overabundance of poppers; there has to be something else at work. Most likely it’s that gays understand better than most that if you want tolerance; you have to show a little yourself. Bikers, for the most part, understand this as well. If you’re the hirsute, leather-skinned, thuggish looking dude who rattles the neighborhoods’ windows on the way to work every morning, it pays to have a live-and-let-live attitude. So, what seems to be a Bad Idea Jeans commercial will probably, in fact, turn out to be a high time for everyone. Even if it falls a little short, there should be lots of interesting people on the streets Saturday night – plenty of spectacle. You should take part. The Austin Pride Parade starts at 8pm Saturday, June 4, at the TxDOT parking lot at Congress and Riverside, crosses the Congress Avenue bridge, goes down Fourth Street and around Republic Square Park, then back down Congress for a post-parade awards ceremony. This year’s parade theme is Equal Rights! No More, No Less. Even a biker could get behind that.

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